Does the OnePlus One really stand a chance?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| April 24, 2014

After months and months of leaks and rumors and whatever else, the device that OnePlus has been building up is finally official. Yesterday, the company pulled the curtain off the device they think is genuinely better than anyone else's out there. Why do they think it's better? Because they believe if you go with another device, you're settling. So, go with the One (no, not that One), and you'll be living the high life from here on out with your new (giant) Android-based device.

The wait for the OnePlus One was long, but the company did a good job of marketing the handset. I'll give them that, without any argument at all. Despite the fact that the first tease for the One was months before the official unveiling, the company put in quite the marketing push to make sure that, from one month to the next, eyeballs were on their brand. It certainly helped, as a lot of people out there wanted to see what the final design would be, and if all those high-end specifications would make it into the end result.

They did. The OnePlus One is indeed a powerhouse of a device, with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 801 processor under the hood, plenty of RAM with 3GB, and a hefty pair of cameras: a 13MP shooter on the back, and a 5-megapixel camera on the front. It comes with either 16- or 32GB of built-in storage. And it's running Android 4.4 KitKat right out of the box, under a customized user interface provided by CyanogenMod.

There is a lot that went into the development of the OnePlus One. I have no doubt about that. But, now that the phone's here and the final details have been revealed regarding its release, I can't help but wonder if it ever stood a real chance. Despite the specs and the price tag, did OnePlus's flagship handset ever stand a chance against Motorola, or LG? Or against HTC and Samsung?

There is a push for devices with high-end specifications and cheap price tags. That's obvious. People want things for as cheap as they can get them, and the fact that we're living in a time where people can get a high-end device for under $600 without looking too hard is pretty amazing. And the more options that are out there, then great! I have no doubt that someone out there will be super happy with their OnePlus One, when they get their hands on it.

But I know a lot more people are going to be happier with their Galaxy S5, or One M8.

And not because they're better devices, but simply because they can go into a store and buy them. No fuss. No waiting for an invite to land in your email inbox, and no need to smash up your current handset at a chance to be one-in-100 to buy a new device. They can just go into a store, play around with a wide range of devices and choose the one that works for them, and walk out with it. Or, even go home and buy it online, after they tested it out, if they wanted.

The strange launch situation with the OnePlus One is something they decided on well in advance, so that just furthers the question as far as I'm concerned. Is this strategy actually helping, or is it immediately putting the device out of potential customer's hands, and ultimately out of their minds?

So, tell me, do you think the OnePlus One ever stood a chance? Or is this another niche release, that will ultimately fade out of mind like many others have? Especially as we near other big-name releases later this year? Let me know!

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